Dutch Diplomats complete 'het Klasje' and say goodbye
03 Jul 2013 - 22:11
After an intense programme, the course for junior diplomats from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other ministries (better known as ‘het Klasje’) came to a conclusion last Friday, 28 June. All 25 participants proudly received their certificates. They were handed out by Clingendael Academy Director Ron Ton together with his colleagues Nils de Mooij, Henriëtte den Ouden and former colleague Foppe Wiersma, who organized the course and managed it on a daily basis.
Handing out the certificates meant the end of a stimulating but demanding three months. 'Het Klasje', one of the most comprehensive courses ever to take place at the Clingendael Institute, involved over 200 trainers, teachers and practitioners from many different backgrounds. The topics covered ranged from consular affairs to economic diplomacy, and from development cooperation to environmental issues. In addition, over 25 ministries and organizations were visited, including the Port of Rotterdam, the Royal Netherlands Navy in Den Helder, the Ministry of Finance, EU institutions and NATO in Brussels and the Holland Festival in Amsterdam. During their stay at the Institute, the participants also met with many foreign delegations which were simultaneously engaged in diplomatic training at the Clingendael Academy. These included diplomats from Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
The Clingendael Academy’s expertise in mixing practice and theory ensured that the participants not only increased their knowledge of international relations, but also strengthened their skills and know-how of day to day practice in international diplomacy. They practiced multilateral negotiations, preparing a dossier for the minister, writing speeches and coming up with an EU-lobby strategy, amongst many other skills, thus readying themselves for the start of their international careers.
The closing ceremony was attended by many of the participants’ family and friends and was marked by heartfelt speeches, filled with anecdotes, warm feelings and good memories.
The Clingendael Institute wishes all participants of the ‘Klasje 2013’ all the best in their future careers, both at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at other ministries.